Purdue University Student Arrested For Murder Of Roommate

When Ji “Jimmy” Min Sha was asked his motive for murdering his roommate, 20-year-old Varun Manish Chheda, he claimed he was “blackmailed”.

October 11, 2022
Varun Chheda [main] was murdered in his Purdue University dorm on Oct. 5, 2022. His roommate, Ji “Jimmy” Min Sha [inset], has been arrested for his murder.

When Ji “Jimmy” Min Sha was asked his motive for murdering his roommate, 20-year-old Varun Manish Chheda, he claimed he was “blackmailed”.

Photo by: Varun Chheda Obituary [main]; Tippecanoe County Jail [inset]

Varun Chheda Obituary [main]; Tippecanoe County Jail [inset]

In the early morning hours of Oct. 5, 2022, Varun Manish Chheda, a 20-year-old student at Purdue University, was killed in his dorm room. Ji “Jimmy” Min Sha, the victim’s roommate, has since been arrested for the murder, reported ABC News.

Sha, a 22-year-old international student from South Korea, called 911 at approximately 12:45 a.m. to report the death to authorities, Purdue University Chief of Police Lesley Weite explained in a news conference. Weite also stated that the attack was unprovoked and senseless.

According to NBC News, Chheda was gaming and talking to friends online when they heard him suddenly start screaming. Only Sha and Chheda were in the room at the time. When police arrived at the scene, they found Sha with blood on his clothing and body. Chheda was reportedly found dead in a chair and a folding knife was found on the floor.

The preliminary autopsy report revealed that Chheda died from "multiple sharp force traumatic injuries," and his death was ruled a homicide. Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costillo said that they were waiting for toxicology results to complete the autopsy report.

At an initial court hearing on Oct. 7, Sha was asked, "Why did you do it?" and he can be heard responding, "I was blackmailed," WTHR reported.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said in a statement, "This is as tragic an event as we can imagine happening on our campus and our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected by this terrible event. We do not have all the details yet. Our Purdue University Police Department is conducting a thorough investigation of this incident so that we all may learn more about what transpired."

Chheda was a senior majoring in data science at the time of his death. He is remembered in an online obituary as being wonderful to all his family members. The obituary states, “He loved the sciences, was very inquisitive and his passion for any subject matter was contagious. He enjoyed the simple things in life and never sought out attention or praise for his accomplishments. His absence will be sorely felt by those who knew and loved him.”

Sha is being held in the Tippecanoe County Jail on a murder charge, and no bond was set. The investigation into Chheda’s murder is ongoing.

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